Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Muscat

Muscat, or Maskat, the capital of Oman, Arabia, stands in a narrow inlet on the S. coast of the Gulf of Oman. The site is extremely hot and unhealthy, and the insanitary nature of the locality is increased by dirt and decay; but the convenience of the harbour attracts a considerable trade, the exports being dates, fish, salt, cotton, pearls, and horses, whilst rice, coffee, sugar, and piece-goods are imported. The population is mainly Mohammedan, though a good many Hindus are among the traders. Owing to the long prevalence of the slave trade, there is a large infusion, too, of African blood. It is an ancient place, but only rose into importance under the Portuguese (1508-1658). The present sultan owes his position to British influence. Much of the trade has been transferred of late to Matrah, a healthier suburb, just outside the bay.